Re: "But you guys-and with all due respect-are considered evil

Mike Masnick (
Sat, 06 Dec 1997 18:58:05 -0500

At 02:23 PM 12/6/97 -0800, David Crook wrote:
>Seriously though, my beef with the great satan of redmond is that to me
>it looks like Microsoft just isn't satisified with what most companies
>would be estatic for, large marketshare in most of the areas that they
>have gone into.


Ah, (and I can't believe that I'd ever be defending Microsoft... but...)
Microsoft is dealing with somewhat different economic parameters with the
software they produce. Getting 100% (or nearly 100%) market share for
Microsoft has much more significance in terms of their bottom line, than
just being "satisfied" with where they are.

For a much clearer explanation of this, I suggest reading "Increasing
Returns" by Brian Arthur (from Harvard Business Review, July-August 1996).
Arthur is very anti-Microsoft in general (I think he spoke at Nader's Bash
Microsoft Bash), but this gives some very good economic rationale for the
way Microsoft acts.

Another good reading on the subject is "Winner Take All Society" by Bob
Frank. It's a fascinating economic theory that is gaining acceptance
rather rapidly. On a side note, I witnessed Dr. Frank last evening playing
in a hockey game. About 10 minutes into the 3rd period he wiped out
against the wall and got knocked out. He spent ten minutes lying still on
the ice, and was eventually removed, with a neck brace and back board, by
something like 15 paramedics. Haven't heard anything today on his
condition. Second side note: Dr. Frank also taught my Econ 101 class when
I was an undergrad and was the kind man who didn't fail me when I overslept
by 2 hours for my first ever college final (in fact, if I remember
correctly he was the man who told me to "calm down and don't have a heart